“I confess I do not know why, but looking at the stars always makes me dream.”
Vincent van Gogh
“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it.”
Vincent van Gogh looked at the stars, dreamed, and painted his dreams. He became a renowned Post-Impressionist painter. His work – notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color – had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. He drew most of his paintings during the years he suffered from painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness. He died at the age of 37.
Ray Bradbury looked at stars, dreamed, and wrote his dreams. He became one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. His dystopian novel about book-burning futuristic society, Fahrenheit 451, has withstood years of expurgation by its publisher, and is still widely read today (#524 in Books at Amazon, as of time writing this post). He was happily married and had four daughters. He died at the age of 91.
It is tempting to look at the stars and dream.
Following the dreams is another story…
In biographies of famous people (for example Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson), following dreams leads to success. In fiction, the outcome of following dreams depends on the genre. In romance, love is the prize, and one will be living happily ever after. In thrillers and other genres with violence, the bad guy is the one who follows his megalomaniac dreams. The villains are selfish and destructive to others – their dreams must be thwarted, and they must end up defeated. In tragedies, the hero loses everything.
For me, not knowing beforehand how things will turn out is a good reason to pick a book and start reading. Not coincidentally, I wrote the kind of book I would like to read – about looking at stars and following one’s dreams.
Here is a teaser (the blurb):
When Danielle Meller starts to work for professor George Green, she expects the new job will jumpstart her academic career. Soon enough, she discovers that integrating herself in the competitive group is a constant struggle. It is even harder to convince her boss that she is capable of conducting innovative research in theoretical physics.
Danielle is fascinated by the recently discovered dark energy – it entices her imagination and draws her to explore its origins. A battle of wills ensues when Green stops her attempts to go beyond the assigned research. Danielle’s boyfriend, Jonathan, also warns her against taking unnecessary risks. Headstrong and ambitious, she doesn’t back off – until she inadvertently opens a personal and professional Pandora’s Box. Now, Danielle has to face the price of following her dreams – if she fails, she might lose the man she loves and everything she has worked for.
From the back-cover of Initial Conditions, a soon-to-be-published novel.
Update: Initial Conditions is published!